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RJJ - Long Live the King
By Tom Gray (May 18, 2004) 
Roy Jones, JR.
Yeah! My prediction was further away than Mars, but I don’t think too many people anticipated Roy Jones, JR. destruction, in less than five minutes of action. The world feels like a different place after such a shock and it was, to me at least, very upsetting to see such a great fighter struggling in vain to regain his senses.

I had picked Roy Jones, JR, by decision in a dominant performance and thought after the first three minutes that I wouldn’t be wrong in my prediction. While a lot of Jones’ punches were blocked, he was the clear aggressor and Tarver did nothing. The second round was eerily reminiscent of Judah against Tszyu, when Roy suddenly appeared gun shy as Tarver pursued. The champion appeared predictable, throwing the basic right hand lead, followed by the left hook. It was in the middle of this particular combination that Tarver launched a huge left hook, which sent Jones crashing. It’s worth pointing out that Roy’s head hit the hardest part of the ring, in the corner, which wouldn’t have helped as he looked out before he hit the canvas.

Anyway I anticipated a flurry of e-mails from Jones detractors, telling me that my article a few days ago, in which I referred to Jones as “The King”, was absolute trash. I’ve not had any yet, so I appear to have been spared. You’ll find my address at the bottom of the page, if it slipped your mind!

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still think Roy is a great fighter and will be remembered as such. It is a terrible blemish on his legacy, but Tommy Hearns was knocked out in similar fashion by Iran Barkley and there are many other great fighters who took the ten count. Jones will be absolutely distraught by what happened, but he has to get over it. At the end of the day that punch would have knocked out most fighters, so he has to let up on himself and not be drawn into deep depression. He has probably won even more fans by bravely trying to get up, after such a ferocious blow.

The fight itself has spawned hundreds of anti-Jones comments and the Monday morning quarterbacks are having a field day. I was reading some forum comments today and it’s the usual mix of inaccuracy and spite; “I told you that Hopkins and Toney hurt him!” and “The Old Mongoose would have killed Jones!” Some of it was actually hilarious and made me feel a lot better.

The future looks a million miles away, but it has to come around sooner or later. Jones only has ONE fight left and that is the rubber match with Tarver and no matter what the result, he should then retire. Fighting Tyson means nothing, because Mike has no interest in real competition and the Klitschko’s have nothing to gain by fighting a deposed light heavyweight champion. I hope Jones doesn’t linger like many of his contemporaries, because he has nothing to prove.

I wish Tarver good luck and he has earned his star status. He has many lucrative options including a third fight with Jones or even a proposed move into the heavyweight ranks. He will do the rounds on the chat shows, which should make for some very interesting conversation. He’s not shy, let’s face it!

As for Roy! I will always consider him a fabulous fighter and a terrific Ambassador for the game. There was the noted “steroid scandal” which did nothing for his reputation, but throughout the totality of his career, he has been nothing a positive representative for the sport. There are many who would disagree with me and they are entitled to their opinion, but his list of accomplishments coupled with a very impressive highlight reel, secures his standing and that’s a fact.

Good luck, Champ!
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